late 15c., "feast, sumptuous entertainment," from Old French banquet "feast," earlier simply "small bench," from Old Italian banchetto, diminutive of banco "bench," variant of banca "bench," which is from a Germanic source (see bench (n.)). Apparently originally "a snack eaten on a bench" (rather than at table), hence "a slight repast between meals;" if so, the meaning has entirely changed.
"to feast," c. 1500, from banquet (n.). Related: Banqueted; banqueting.
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